Archie’s (Well Behind Schedule) Election Analysis – Part 4 – Caloundra to Glass House and Beyond

avme.jpg

CALOUNDRA

Joan Sheldon’s old seat. I was for a brief moment when we worked together at Legal Aid infatuated with her absolutely beautiful daughter Kate, but sadly – or perhaps sagely; I don’t know how I’d get on with an LNP pollies daughter outside of the dream world – its wasn’t reciprocated.

One Nation replace KAP as the minor party alternative, and will probably poll better and pull about 8% of the vote, which must be music to sitting LNP member Mark McArdle’s ears because it makes him even more of a sure thing than he already was.

CAPALABA

Conflict of Interest Disclosure 1

A few years ago I used to work with the sitting member Don Brown – in fact I think I may have even been his boss for a short period – and have socialised with him on a number of occasions. My reckoning that he is an excellent local member who works hard for his community is an arms length views based on the facts rather than my personal fondness for the bloke, as is my estimation that he’ll pick up at least a junior ministry this time round if Labor are reelected.

Brown will win the seat with an increased majority and, barring an unforeseen future unfavorable redistribution, will hold it for life. Good on him and good on the people of Capalaba too, they’ve lucked on a politician who is 100% committed to his semi-bayside electorate – there can’t be too many around who actually like that crap neck of the woods with the straight dog track can there? – and extremely able, and most of all as honest as the day is long.

One Nation supporters haven’t been so fortunate.

Their candidate Paul Taylor – the only Indian fella born in Bangalore and named after a fish – doesn’t even live in the electorate. He’s a Shailer Park boy, which means that he should be running against the Beefcake in Springwood, but for some reason he’s decided to have a crack at Mick De Brenni’s factional stable mate and long-time work colleague Brown instead.

I wonder if Taylor will disclose his unrecorded criminal history to the voters? There are a lot of families in the area with teenage kids, so I’m sure the peeps in the electorate would love to know about the Fish punching an apprentice in the face and being charged and fined for it when he made an involuntary appearance at the Holland Park Magistrates Court a few years ago. They might also be interested in the name that the Fish appeared under, because my mail is that it certainly wasn’t Taylor.

Rivers run deep don’t they, and fish often get cast in their own nets.

CLAYFIELD

Conflict of Interest Disclosure 2

Labor’s candidate in this seat Phil Anthony is an old mate of mine and I went to school with his cousin Dr John, the philosopher. That was however back in the days when we were both hanging around the Magistrates court doing lawyerly sort of stuff and beating off the young female cub court reporters, and well before Pothole Phil went mad and decided to that he wanted to become a Labor candidate.

He’s going around for practice in this one.

This is Tim the Toolman territory, and the LNP’s bobble head’s seat in the House of Broken Dreams has a reserved sign on it and a silver spoon waiting on the arm rest for the posh little schoolboy who never grew up’s return.

CONDAMINE

Old National Party turf from way back, in it’s various incarnations this seat has only been held by the ALP once and that was in 1953 by Les Diplock, a schools inspector – and, unusually for one of Santamaria’s men, a Protestant and Mason – who jumped ship and became a member of the DLP during his second term.

Pat Weir won this one with an absolute majority last time around and despite some possible leakage of votes to One Nation those ballot papers will be a boomerang in the form of preferences and he won’t be losing it in 2017.

COOK

Billy Gordon the maintenance-dodging one-term MP steps out of politics and doesn’t recontest this time around. He’s replaced by Cynthia Lui, a distant relative of Robert the former West Tigers and Cowboys halfback who was touted as the next big thing but never impressed me as a top level player, even before his career imploded when he bashed his partner and copped a ridiculously light sentence of a good behavior bond.

KAP polled okay here last time pulling about 12.5% of the primary votes, and with a different candidate and a rising anti-south east corner sentiment in North Qld I reckon they might nudge around the 20% mark.

It won’t be enough to win them the seat but when you throw a One Nation candidate into the mix it becomes volatile, and the preference flow might just favour the LNP candidate Penny Johnson enough to get her over the line.

This is one of those chance your arm tips and its made without any real confidence at all but I’ll plump for LNP and cop the bagging when I’m probably proved wrong.

COOMERA

Ronald ‘Porky’ Pigdon is Pauline’s candidate, and as with most of the silent majority of Australians, Ron is not happy with the way Australia is heading. He has spent his life working hard and looking after his family and it would be easier for him to carry on with his life and to not get involved in trying to sustain this great way of life in this great southern land. However, Ron has reached a point where he feels that a number of unhealthy influences are being perpetuated from a number of sources and will in time affect the lives and safety of his children and their children’s children, so it’s time to stand up & be counted and show that the strength and will of the majority of people want the same things for their children’s children as he does. 

A number of unhealthy influences are being perpetuated from a number of sources?

Sh*t Porky, tell us more.

What are they?

Financial planner and LNP caucus non-entity Michael Crandon nails the quadrella by being elected for the fourth time, although no-one really knows what he does between elections. Nobody really cares either, which is the beauty of a safe seat.

Cooper

This is the old Ashgrove seat renamed after Dr Lilian Cooper, a turn of the 20th century lezzo whose old man was a peer of the realm and Captain of the Royal Marines, these days Prince Harry’s crew.

Young Lilian met her soulmate Josephine Bedford at Uni whilst study medicine and fell her in love with her, but the pressure from polite society on a couple of sheilas who openly slept in a shared bed was a bit much so the pair pissed off to the old Moreton Bay colony and spent the rest of their lives together in BrisVegas, which was our good luck because they were an absolute cracker of a pair.

When WW1 erupted both Lilian and Jo were keen to serve the cause in the Aussie army but the Generals wouldn’t let them enlist because they had tits, so Lilian – who was well known for swearing like a trooper and driving her car, one of Brisbane’s first motor vehicles, around town at break neck speeds – told the old codgers to get f*cked, and the couple joined the Scottish army instead, serving with such distinction in the medical and field ambulance corps that they were both awarded the prestigious Order of St Sava for their efforts.

When they returned to Vegas the couple bought a flash house up on the hill above the Kangaroo Point Hotel where John Mayne murdered a cashed up bushie and stole his cash, which the psycho then used to parlay his way into becoming Brisbane’s richest man. Josephine Bedford didn’t need to roll any drunks to buy her house though because she was the heiress to a fortune and had plenty.

Beford went on to found the Creche and Kindergarten Association (C&K) and play a leading role in the fight against animal cruelty, and Cooper became a much loved senior doctor at the Mater Hospital. When the couple died they donated their stately home to become a hospice, and the modern day St Vincent’s hospital (formerly Mt Olivet) is built on the donated site where the lifetime lovers home used to be.

Kate Jones has been beaten once in an election and she won’t be a again. Not even a redistribution can keep the locals from keeping Kate.

Currumbin

In a good year with a swing on Labor might be a chance to regain the wicked witch of the South Merri Rose’s old seat, but this ain’t that year.

Jann Stuckey retains the seat and when parliament resumes enters the House of Broken Dreams as a 5 term MP and walks straight into a ministry if her side wins/

Everton

This is one seat that I would have been targeting if I was a Labor strategist, but for some curious reason they haven’t. Putting up a  lawyer for the MUA as your candidate doesn’t ooze confidence, and I guess the halfwits running the ALP campaign believe that the happy clapping former NRL ref and current sitting member Tim Mander is a certainty.

He’s not.  This seat has been held by Labor for all but 10 of its 45 year history, and after the distribution of Green preferences there were only a thousand ballots difference between the ALP candidate and Mander in the 2 party preferred vote, which means that if Labor could swing about 500 votes back they could win the seat, particularly given that there is no One Nation candidate contesting.

Given Labor’s ill-thought seeming surrender Mander will probably take home the bacon, but it would not shock me at all if there is an upset.

Ferny Grove

Mark ‘Funky’ Furner was shoehorned into this seat last time over the top of a clown named Andrew McMicking, who puts crap on social media sledging dead babies grubs and unsuccessfully sues authors such as your own for calling him out on it, claiming that I’ve ruined his political career.

It’s a pretty hard one to prove that, especially when you don’t actually have a career in politics and have never actually made it past the pre-selection stage putting his name in the draw for almost everything except Grand Poobah of Gayndah.

One day it might start to dawn on him that he’s not wanted by even his own party, but then again perhaps not. McMicking is a bloke who lives in denial and spends time rearranging his pink shirts in the closet while the wife’s out after all.

Furner, an Old Guard faction member and useless former one-term Senator whose political achievements are zero except sucking on the public purse, got smashed up on the primary vote last time by the fundamentalist christian Dale Shuttleworth, who won 2000 more votes but ended up getting tipped out by 450 after the Greens preferences flowed 2800 to 480 his way.

You’d expect that, but it really the Palmer United Party than sunk Shuttleworth because their candidate Mark Taverner – a dodgy bastard with suspiciously close connections to outlaw bikies who couldn’t have been elected anyway because the Electoral Commission discovered he was an undischarged bankrupt won about 750 votes and they split approximately 300 to Labor, 250 to the Greens and only 200 to Shuttleworth, which was just enough to get Funky’s nose over the line.

There’s no PUP candidate this time around, so you can be sure that Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch will be praying the rosary all night long seeking divine deliverance of those 750 votes over to Labor because if they don’t get them it’s very likely that Furner will be unemployed on Monday.

I reckon though that with the advantage of incumbency Funky might just sneak home, so I’ll give this seat to Labor, but not with any degree of confidence at all.

The mainstream media are calling Toowoomba North the bellweather seat it in this election but I wouldn’t pay two cents for the opinions or political judgement of the horde of hacks travelling around with the Princess and the Toolman on their respective campaign buses.

This seats the one that will tell you who wins government.

Don’t you worry about that.

Gaven

This seat has changed hands back and forward a couple of times and in its 16 year history the record is 8 years each to the left and right, although for three of those years then member Dr Alex Douglas – who’d quit the LNP after having a hissy fit about not being appointed a Minister by Can Do – seemed not to know whether he was Arthur of Martha and sat variously as an Independent, as a member of PUP, and then as Independent again before being carved up at the 2015 election when he only drew a paltry 12% of the vote.

There’s a lesson in that for the happy clapping fat-boy hypocrite from the north George Christiansen, who has been threatening to jump ship from the Federal Liberal Party constantly for the past couple of years.

What is it with these clowns who delude themselves into believing that they were elected because they’re just wonderful, rather than accept the truth which is that the only reason their lard arses are sitting on a leather chair in the House of Broken Dreams and they’re draining $200k a year from the public purse is because they wore a blue or red badge at the election.

Anyway, the long and short of Gaven is that the LNP’s Sid Cramp cruises to the finish line a space in front and wins under double wraps.

Gladstone

Long time Independent MP, former Mayor of Calliope, friend of One Nation and opponent of gun reform laws Liz Cunningham’s old seat is a gimme for Labor, who only ever lost it because their candidate against Cunningham in the 1995 election Leo Zussino, now in his second incarnation as the boss of his beloved Gladstone Port, threw too many people out of his father-in-law’s pub up on the hill in town and as a consequence lost a whole bunch of hungover votes.

Glenn Butcher re-elected with absolute majority just like last time is my tip.

Glass House

Did you know that there are actually 11 mountains and 2 hills that make up the Glass House Mountains? Not many do. See how many you can get without Googling.

One Nation are running a candidate of Patriot-passion heritage named Tracey Bell-Henselin. I’m not sure where exactly you find the nation of Patriot-passion on the world map, but given the Teutonic surname you’d have to imagine that if you poked around the Bavarian Alps you might have a bit of luck. Perhaps you can could even try yodeling.

The lass from Partriot-passion is of course a happy clapper – that area between Caboolture and Caloundra is full of them – and has only one policy for Queensland.

Truth.

She reckons it’s bullet-proof.

I reckon she’s in the wrong party is she’s looking for it.

Labor candidate Brent Hampstead’s name will be familiar to a lot of Vegas music lovers of a certain vintage because he edited the uber alt-cool at the street magazine Time Out back in the early 80’s, and a bloody good job he did of it too. It was a great read.

I hope Hampstead’s got a few back copies in the dunny magazine rack to keep him entertained for the next four years because there’s no leather chair in the house for him this time round unless the incumbent LNP MP Andrew Powell starts running around the polling booths tomorrow pinching ballot paper wielding punters on the arse.

Tally: LNP 18 – ALP 8 – Independent 1 – Undecided 1

 

Sportsbet Pull Down the Blinds On Rumpole, Freckles and Any Hope of Having a Fair Dinkum Bet on an Election – Step Right Up and Come in Spinner

A wig-wearing mate of mine with a penchant for jabots just gave me a bat’n’ball on the dog and bone, and before I could get rid of the rude prick so I could concentrate on the Cranbourne form – fancy ringing on a Friday race night, is there no respect? – he ranted and raved and in between screaming told me one of the most ridiculous tales I’ve heard all year, or since I spoke to Elvis earlier this evening at least.

The yarn’s not ridiculous because he’s making it up, even if does sound somewhat far fetched. No Sportsfans, it’s ridiculous because it’s true. You see as well as being a bloke I know and trust, the fella who relayed his first hand experience with Sportsbet this evening to me is one of those jokers who Rumpole used to call  Queer Customers, and those silk robed fellas don’t lie, or most of them don’t anyway and he’s one.’

So the story is that this Rumpole of the Brisvegasaily is a mad Tory, and he’s got this crazy fantasy type thing going with LNP deputy leader Deb Frecklington, who he regards as the epitome of the ideal woman on an ordinary day, and a goddess on all the others. I don’t see it myself – she’s a tidy enough piece, but a little on the bland side for my liking – but that doesn’t matter.

deba.jpg

Deb’s the girl in the poster on the inside of office wall and that’s that, and if his love from afar is not reciprocated well I guess when you’re recently betrothed and you’ve never actually met the MP for Nanango, and don’t even know where the joint is, then you’d have to agree that it’s a bit hard to have a 2-way relationship going, although I’m pretty sure that Serena Williams has the hots for me even though we’re in the same boat, I can see it in her eye.

Reddit!

Puh-Lease!

That Ruski billionaire character’s only charmed her because she’s too bloody bust practicing her back-hand topspin lob to read my in-depth and amazingly analytical articles. But good things come to those who wait, and I’m pretty hand with little nippers once they get the past the annoying stage at about 18, so with Serena looking for all the world like she’s going to be winning Wimbledon’s until she’s sixty five I’m happy to sit on my Bundy Rum on the Tobacco Pouch and wait for her until she gives the game away.

sez1.jpg

Anyway, back to the main story and sorry for the distraction – Serena just does that to me – and here’s Rumpole this afternoon sitting back the counting the $1000 cash he’d just just earned in 20 minutes charged in 3 minutes blocks at $3000 an hour spent telling a client that he was barking up the wrong tree trying to defend a parking ticket using the defense that there was no park where he put the Merc, only a whole lot of signs saying loading zone that he thought it was some sort of resting post for weary coppers walking around the CBD all day with a brick in their pockets and looking for someone to throw it at.

After the deflated Merc driver had left his chambers our QC mate had bit of time on his hands before the happy hour kicked off at 5, so he did what men with a hankering for Deb Frecklington and a penchant for the punt do and jumped on to Sportsbet to take a Captain Cook at the prices for the Nanango Electorate Stakes run tomorrow.

Well sportsfans when he saw his dream girl’s price he almost wet himself, not through sexual desire or incontinence, but because you could back the unbeatable Freckles at give-away odds of a buck thirty ($1.30), which is about 5 years worth of interest on a dollar.

Let me tell you something for free: if there’s one thing a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal voting lawyerly type likes better than a National Party sheila wearing deck shoes and a pink crocodile shirt it’s a sure-fire 30c return in the dollar, and before you could say Dorothy Pratt and Pauline he was on the dog and bone to some 21 year old junior trader at Australia’s largest corporate bookmaker Sportsbet trying to put 800 bucks on to win $240, which is hardly a fortune when you’re earning eight grand a week, and only wasn’t a thousand because he needed some loose change for shouts at the pub.

rumps.jpg

The kid trader asks Rumpole if he’d mind being put on hold for a moment, and before he could reply the prospective punter was listening to Greensleeves on constant repeat. After an interminable delay – the mate says it was 10 minutes, which means it was probably three: it’s hard to break the habit of rapid counting that you pick up bloc charging – the kid trainer returns and says sorry sir, the price is now $1.20.

“WTF?” thinks the punter,who is staring straight at the online Sportsbet bookie board and can see “Deb Frecklington, LNP: $1.30” staring back at him, and so he asks the question, and the reply is anything but what he wants to hear for it simply along the lines of “Because”, and if you’ve ever been through an interrogation by a four year old child about why you can’t take them for a walk in the park while you’re waiting for the 3rd leg of the Quaddie to jump you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Rumpole hangs up the phone and starts stewing and spewing, but all the time he’s venting to the framed portraits of dead Queer Customers on the wall he’s staring at his girl Freckles now updated $1.20 price and before you can say Deb Should Be LNP Leader and Probably Will Be Within the Week he’s back on the dog and bone and telling the young trader that Sportsbet are bloody thieves but he’ll take the $1.20 anyway and trying the same $800 on, this time to win just a pissy $160 bucks which will buy him about 3 shouts once the happy hour’s over.

The Trader tries to put the bet on, and the computer must start going beep, beep, beep because he tells Rumpole ‘Sorry sir we can’t let you on for that much’ and after the suddenly blue air clears the horse trading begins.

“How about $600” Rumpole asks.

Tap, tap, tap.

Sorry sir, that’s too much.

$500 to win a hundred?

Nope.

Sorry sir still too big.

$400? $300? $200?

Sorry, sorry, sorry, but no, no, no.

$100?

Nope.

$50?

Perfect sir. You’re on to win $10.

And then they wind the price in to $1.15.

nan.jpg

Ten bloody dollars.

This company turns over $2 billion a year. You would have to be kidding wouldn’t you?

The trader wasn’t. Rumpole wasn’t either. And nor am I.

Ten bloody dollars.

After he collects on Freckles win Rumpole’s using it to buy the stamps for his complaint to the Northern Territory Racing Commission. He got the address off the young lady he lodged his verbal complaint to this arvo.

I wouldn’t take this bloke on a legal fight, not in 800 years, so this should be fun.

We’ll keep you updated.

spot.jpg

Eight Green Bottles, Hanging on the Wall – Eight Green Bottles Hanging on the Wall – But If One Green Bottle Should Hear the Cock Crow Three Times and a Bottle Falls – There’ll Be Seven Green Bottles, Hanging on the Wall – Until the Next Call ….. Ladies and Gentleman! The First Elvis Impersonator Has Left the Building

Well, well, well, well, well.

The Lord may well be by Shepherd, and he may not punt, but he certainly didn’t make me down to lie in pastures green at Eagle Farm because there aren’t any, and BRC Director – sorry, former BRC Director – Johnny ‘Elvis’ Shepherd has decided to take the bolt just 5 weeks after being re-elected and has done a Hayden Haitana and disappeared out the headquarters back door.

ashep.jpg

Smart man that Elvis Shepherd. His business has too much to lose from the Ascot Green development for him to put at risk by being associated with the crook of a CEO and stoner running the joint Whimpey Dave.

Well that’s my Bunger Boy’s theory anyway, and Elvis’s role on the Master Planning and Finance, Governance and Risk Management committees certainly lend some weight to it.

For a bloke whose business is property development and investment it was certainly the right place to be, although I’m sure that if there was even a skerrick of a sniff of a conflict of interest with his personal or business interests, or those of any of his family members, business partners or close friends then Elvis would have declared it in the Club register, because that’s what Vegas boys who carry combs in their pocket do.

Well, that and the fact that under the Corporations Act it’s an offence punishable by imprisonment not to declare it, anyway.

I gave the good Mr Shepherd a call a couple of minutes ago to seek a comment about his sudden exit, and he advised me that it was due to personal circumstances, and that he could no longer find the time to perform the duties of the role.

I did ask whether those onerous once a month meetings were all too much, but of course I was just being a smart arse and as I had my Brigham Young firmly in my Albany Creek I didn’t think it fair to the bloke to seek a response, but just thanked Elvis for his time and courtesy and wished him good luck.

One page turns and another one opens, and now under the queer constitution of the BRC that was clearly designed by a dictator dedicated to remaining in absolute control we now have a casual vacancy on the board for the next 3 years that in the finest tradition of democracy guess who gets to choose Elvis’s replacement?

No it’s not Priscilla, or Lisa-Marie either.

The members?

Funny one.

Nifty Nev and the bang-bang boys of course.

The BRC Board themselves.

Well chaps, I know you’re reading, so here it is.

I’m available.

votearch

But look, I know that now his life ban’s lifted Hayden Haitana is too, so being the straight shooter that I am I have to tell you that the Kiwi’s got a lot more experience in the ring-in department than I have – I’m still a virgin – so I recommend that he be your first preference.

But if you can’t find Haitana, you know where I am. Wayne Innes got his mate’s mate at the police station to look it up on the computer (I wonder which girlfriend’s place’s address he got? Cos of my PTSD I lose my licence three times every month, and being an honest sort of bugger I put down whatever address I’m my bat that night as my home).

Yep, if Hayden’s not prepared to step up to the plate Nifty, I’m in.

I won’t let you down fellas.

Only gently anyway.

“What’s that Mum? I’m talking to Little Dickie on the phone!”

muffled sounds in the background

“Hey Dickie, Mum says not to worry about going the selection criteria and interview process. Mavis over the fence tells her that there’s gunna be two vacancies! We’re both in! Waddya reckon?”

 

The Bantam’s B*llshit Exposed – By His Buddy Racin’ Nathan of All Bloody People – But Don’t Worry Chookie – There’s Help at Hand – We Just Have to Find That Old Rooster First

drinking.jpg

The LNP aren’t running scared of the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.

In fact, as Shadow Racing Minister Jon Krause pointed out, it’s time for a review after nearly 16 months of operations.

This considered move is not crystal ball stuff either. It is based on plenty of homework carried out statewide.

This column posed the question last week would the LNP match Labor’s financial takeover of non TAB country racing in the state.

Not only did they promptly do that but added some impressive extra planks.

An extra $16.5 million in prizemoney, a $15 million minor capital works infrastructure fund, a $1 million country racing tourism driver and a country racing board will sure seal a lot of racing votes outside south-east Queensland

This above is what the rapidly unraveling Bantam had to say in his scarcely read personal blog ‘My Call’ earlier this week, and which he repeated in a nauseatingly sycophantic interview with the LNP Racing Spokesperson Jon Krause – a self-proclaimed passionate race fan who has made just 2 parliamentary speeches about racing in the past 3 years – on his little-listened to Radio TAB program on Monday morning.

For the sake of clarity let me repeat the Bantam’s claims.

  1. The LNP will match Labor’s $70 million injection into prize money and breeders bonuses for country racing
  2. On top of this the party led by Tim the Toolman Nicholls will provide an extra $16.5 million in prize money funding for the bush
  3. The LNP will allocate an additional $15 million to a capital works infrastructure fund for country racing
  4. A Country Racing Board will be established by the LNP
  5. The party will spend $1 million on a ‘country racing tourism driver’

Gee that’s a lot of money for a chauffeur isn’t it?

My Dad never earned anywhere near that much when he was driving Can Do, or Jim Soorley, or Neil Roberts, or Sally-Anne Atkinson, or Prince Charles, or the Sultan of Brunei, or Gough Whitlam, or the Shah of Iran, or anyone else that he faithfully served during his 40 year career as a loyal and trusted civil servant.

So trusted in fact that those listed above that are still alive still keep in touch with the old man – who was always political but never partisan – and call the bat phone at the Geebung Polo Club regularly to check on his welfare.

When the line’s not clogged by pea hearts making threats of violence against yours truly that is, or police ringing to follow up on the criminal threat they’ve just heard made over the tapped line, or respectable interstate businessman calling to say they’ve heard that threats were being made against yours truly and asking if their local area managers might ride their bikes over to the caller’s house and see if they can mediate the issue.

Dad didn’t get a million bucks even to drive the Queen! How come is it then that some bastard’s getting paid a million bucks to drive Country Racing?

The simple answer is that they are not.

Just as the LNP are not allocating $16.5 million on top of Labor’s promised $70 million to country racing.

And are not allocating an additional $15 million to an infrastructure fund.

The Bantam – David Fowler, the BrisVegas racing bon vivant whose support base is dwindling by the second due to his out of control drinking and gambling habits, and his difficulties grappling with the concept truth – is lying.

Lying through his teeth.

I had an article ready to run on this very issue this morning, but would you bloody believe it Racin’ Nathan Exelby – until yesterday the bantam’s best mate – has beaten me to the goddamn punch! Blow me down with a feather and call me a little chicken!

aracnac.jpg

Only $16.5 million represents new funding for the industry.

Labor has promised $70 million.

The infrastructure money is being directed away from the fund targeted at building new harness racing and greyhound facilities that will bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the State coffers, and instead redirected to country racing in towns with populations smaller than the average suburban street, and that return no dividend to the taxpayer by way of gambling tax or commissions?

Oh dear Davey Boy, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Beware your sins for they shall come back to find you my missus always says, and do you know what? I reckon that she might just be right, because when the loyal lads start jumping over the side of the ship you’ve gotta start thinking its sinking don’t you son?

What on earth would possess a highly experienced and supposedly intelligent journalist to blatantly attempt to try and mislead his print and radio audience about a matter that he knows to be absolutely untrue is beyond me; in fact it’s beyond comprehension at all.

There’s only one rational answer that I can come with.

drink

Is that being a bit harsh?

No.

Quality journalists get things right and people at the top of their game don’t make big mistakes, and if they do then they don’t compound them. But the Bantam has and I’d hate to have to start believing that he has compromised his professional ethics so badly that he’d done it deliberately.

 

Despite what some who fail to discern the deeper meanings hidden in my rants may wrongly believe, I actually like the Bantam. I like him a lot.

But somethings is clearly going wrong, and you can’t just by and watch a fella you like piss his career him away down the dunny and not say anything can you, even if it night get you offside with the fella you are trying to give a helping hand.

It’s the prodigal son thing.

If you’re an Afghan camel driving captain and one of your dromedaries wanders away off the dusty track winding back to the old fashioned shack do you stand there and wave goodbye as you watch it walk off into the sunset? Or do you tie up your herd of double humpers and chase off into the desert after the lost camel?

You chase the lost humper don’t you?

It’s a no brainer.

So here we are sportfans and I’m out walking the track at Racecourse Road looking for a lost rooster, but all I see is bantams, bantams everywhere, and fizzy french pop to drink.

If you find the race caller who used to be the intellectual powerhouse, historian, keeper of the flame and pre-eminent voice of racing send him over to the Geebung RSL and ask Kevvie to keep him fed and watered until I get there will you?

 

As Kylie said and Joe Janiak proved, it’s never too late, we’ve still got time. Sort of anyway, but we gotta move quick, because they tell me that Gee Gee’s not real happy with being double played and back-doored by a Bantam, and come Monday if the cloth cap wearers are reelected vengeance may just be hers.

Come back Rooster, before they slam the door shut.

 

 

 

 

A Full Stradbroke Field of Random Impertinent Racing Questions To Get You Going on a Cold Thursday Morning

(1) What on earth was the Chairman of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club doing meeting privately with an alleged criminal who is on bail on multiple charges of fraud allegedly committed against the members of the Brisbane Racing Club and the ratepayers of the Ipswich City Council?

(2) Why was the on-course caller employed by the Brisbane Racing Club meeting with the same alleged criminal on the same day at the same time in the same place?

(3) Was a leading presenter on the Tatts Group/UBET owned Radio TAB racing station, and writer for prominent racing websites, present at the meeting?

(4) Did Ambassador Travel have one of their ambassadors and hosts attend the get together with the alleged criminal who has made threats against the author of this website? (that didn’t work did it d*ckhead?)

silks

(5) Why are the Directors of the failing Albion Park Harness Racing Club, which is posting year on year losses and draining the tri-code racing industry of tens of millions of dollars, spending their Saturday evenings in a swish marquee adjacent to the winning post at the harness racing track swilling Moet and slipping oysters, prawns, lobsters and moreton bay bugs down their throats each week leading into Christmas and charging it back to the race club as an expense?

(6) Have any of the multitude of mates that the Directors have invited into the all you can eat and drink without paying a cent tent had an attack of conscience after learning of the perilous financial position of the Albion Park club and insisted on paying their own way?

(7) If the LNP Racing Minister-in-waiting Jon Krause is really the passionate supporter of racing and fierce advocate for the industry that he claims to be, why is it that he has  made a mere two speeches in parliament about the sport in the past three years?

analpi.jpg

(8) Why has the LNP’s position on ensuring the integrity of Queensland racing changed so much in the space of just two elections?

(9) Is it any coincidence that Clip Clop Kev’s long-time right-hand man on the Albion Park club Board of Directors until his premature death Dave Knudsen was a business partner of Gary Shannon, father of Dean ‘Jed/Ned’ Shannon the ‘founder’ of bookmaker.com and later CEO of Ladbrokes Australia after the English bookie bought his company out?

knud.jpg

(10) Why is it that Shannon knows so much about client lists, and appears to have a magic talent for making them disappear in his wake every time he leaves the building?

(11) What are the odds about the internet pornographer Shannon running afoul of one of Western Australia’s heaviest respectable businessmen thanks to his arrogant silver spooner’s ill-thought spittle and then becoming filthy rich after the nice chap from Perth made him an offer of redemption that he couldn’t refuse?

anedjed.jpg

(12) Why was the alleged money laundering harness racing identity Marshall Dobson betting in false names on harness racing in Western Australia?

(13) Which corporate bookmaker was Dobson allegedly betting with under these false names?

(14) Has he ever held a wagering account with Bookmaker.Com, Ladbrokes or Neds?

(15) Were they opened and operated in his own name?

(16) Why is it that a substantial percentage of the suspiciously over-sized exotic betting pools on Race 1 at the Albion Park trots is invested out of West Australia?

(17) How come Clip Clop Kev’s major construction companies never seem to have any industrial disputes with the CFMEU?

(18) Why is it that Mirvac, John Holland, Leightons and a host of other construction companies were summoned to appear before the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, but none of Clip Clop Kev’s companies were?

mirv.jpg

(19) Were the Directors of the Brisbane Racing Club aware of the Royal Commission’s uncovering of Mirvac’s corrupt business practices – including the regular and systematic payment of bribes – at the time that they entered into a joint venture agreement with the company to hand it prime BRC land?

(20) Or was it exactly that which sealed the deal?

(21) What’s little Stevie ‘Goosie’ Gagel really doing on the board of the BRC?

(22) And what’s Johnny ‘The Good” Shepherd doing there?

(23) What has been BRC Chairman Nifty Nev Bell’s past involvement with a company named Caboolture Property Investments Pty Ltd (ABN: 32 095 739 576)?

(24) What is Nifty’s relationship with country and western singer, former Caboolture RSL manager, harness racing trainer and alleged fraudster Stephen ‘Bunzie” Bunz?

 

 

 

Archie Takes One of Queensland’s Leading Harness Racing Experts to Town – One Up in Thirty Years Ain’t Bad Going Is It Sportsfans? – Who Ever Said the Butterfly Wasn’t Hot to Trot on His Knowledge of the Red Hots?

jeroen.jpgjeroen1.jpg

Jeroen Nieuwenburg is one of Australia’s foremost harness racing experts.

A professional punter and property magnate by trade, his leisure activity and passion is the trots, and if you think that’s a bit weird then that’s because your parents didn’t take you to Albion Park as a kid to see Paleface and Poppy and Pure Steel and Maori’s Idol and Rip Van Winkle and Koala King and Wondais Mate and Ima Peak run around under the lights and teach you that you don’t find culture in an Opera House or at the Ballet, you find it at the Speed Pacing Capital of the World.

Okay, okay, I confess: I slipped Ima Peak – stable name Tuppy – into the mix of champions when you weren’t looking, but you gotta forgive me because my oldies owned his left hind leg and part of his tail, and he was the horse I first learnt to drive on.

Don’t write Tuppy off too quickly though, cos he t did win 8 races at Rocklea during a sterling career stretching from age 2 to 14, and won a heat of a race at the Ekka and a final at the Ipswich show as well. Tuppy almost certainly would have won the Inter Dominion – Miracle Mile double as well if bloody Big Russ hadn’t forced him to retire after he got beaten 120 metres first up at Rocklea just after he turned 15.

What the f*ck was wrong with that Hinze bloke? Any idiot could see that Tuppy was as fat as a mule going in to that race at Rockers, and that we were slow tuning him for the big ones in 9 months time. You don’t win a bloody Melbourne Cup in January do you sportsfans? It was a damned disgraceful way to treat Queensland’s official oldest active pacer, and 40 years later I’m still dirty about it today

I’ve know Jeroen since my teens, and back in the day spent many a weekend in his company when we were both part of the Big Six syndicate.

  • Friday night card schools til 3 in the morning
  • Saturday arvos on the punt at Doomben or the Farm (they used to race there back then)
  • Dinner in the Spanish Garden at the Brekky Creek (in those days we didn’t have the dough to splash on the Silks smorgasboard. I still don’t. Jeroen could buy it and 100 others and still have plenty of change)
  • Saturday Nights punting at the trots
  • Early Sunday A.M. at Pacesetters disco
  • The Sunday back-up session in the unofficial (and some curmudgeons say illegal) betting ring on the concrete seats in the outer at Lang Park punting on kicks, passes, grubbers, rabbit punches, big hits and points spreads as we enjoyed the privilege of watching Lewis, Miles, Kilroy, Meninga, Jackson, Bunny Pearce et al run around in the old BRL A Grade comp

Those were the days my friend, I thought they’d never end.

Well not quite.

The Broncos came along and screwed the BRL comp, Pacesetters closed down, I moved out of home and the card schools ended because there was no under the Geebung house to set up the tables or Mum to cook us a feed, birds and babies came along, so did mortgages – Jeroen had about a hundred of ’em negatively geared, he invested all his punt winnings into affordable rental properties and ended up owning about half of Inala – and age and so did the absolute necessity to have a tenner in your kick in Monday morning to feed the baby, and with all these factors combining the band broke up.

Jeroen and I still kept in regular contact for a few years, and at one stage I talked him into playing a season of basketball for the Geebung Globetrotters at the broken-down outdoor courts at Newmarket, where he gained the rare distinction of becoming the first 6 foot 10 sized fella with a wing span of an extra 3 feet never to be able to slam dunk on a ten foot high ring.

Remember that movie White Men Can’t Jump? Those poncy woman-abusing Hollywood arseholes never told you that it was based on the true story of a Geebung Five-Star Globetrotter did they?

Which was a bloody shame because if the Seppo film producers been honest they could have rolled out sequels starring some of the other mates that I harangued into gracing the great Geebung Globetrotter stage, including

mons.jpg

  • Arthur Williams, the father of the NFL superstar Jesse ‘The Monstar’ Williams (I used to mind the little fella on the sideline, before he got real big);
  • John ‘Nobody’ Eales, the greatest Wallaby ever and a freak at playing cards;
  • Chris ‘It Only Took Me Ten Years to Finish My Law Degree’ White, the founder of the sports management company International Quarterback, and manager of a plethora of greats including Sam Riley, Wendell Sailor, Keiran Perkins and my brother-in-law Dave Baildon from the Gold Coast Seagulls;
  • Bunny Pearce, then aged about 103; he was a great fullback but left a little bit to be desired as a shooting guard;
  • Paul ‘The Big Man’ Connelly, brother of trotting driver Brad and himself the greatest untapped training talent in the land;
  • Matt ‘The Eagle’ Cranitch, the bloke whose preferences decided the NT Government;
  • Aaron ‘Jack the Beanstalk’ Smith, who won the Lotto First Division prize in a single year;
  • Brad ‘Gruntums’ Graham, who these days owns a winery or three, although never in his own name;
  • Brisbane Bullets legend Derek Rucker (I made him wear a wig and a padded body suit so we could ring him into the 3rd division, and told him he could only shoot with one hand: he scored 73 points in the first half before we got sprung)
  • A murderer;
  • A greyhound trainer;
  • A judge (whose name shall remain unknown);
  • The lead violinist for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra;
  • A couple of junkies;
  • A doctor, a dentist, a physio, a few teachers and a couple of engineers;
  • a high-flying politician (whose name shall also remain unknown);
  • and me

cranstt.jpg

It was pretty august company we were running around with on those cold, windy Monday 1980’s nights I’ll tell you, not that we knew it at the time.

Enough of the reminiscing though and back to the story.

Jeroen Nieuwenberg.

Big Jeroen.

He may not have been able to fly like Jordan but jeez Jeroen was a good bloke, an absolute cracker. One of those fella’s who would never do you a wrong turn, and who you always count on to have your back or buy you a feed when you’d done the last 20 bucks of your dough in the last at Doomben chasing the five hundred that you’d knocked off across the states in the five hours before.

Added to all that the big non-flying Dutchman was – and is – one the smartest fella’s I’ve ever met in my life, a mathematical genius who invented one of the earliest computer based betting systems to pick the eyes out of overlays in the betting pools and made such a ,motza out of it that he was able to comfortably retire from the wage-slave workforce before he’d even qualified for his first lot of annual leave.

Of course like most overs punters Jeroen didn’t have a clue about the form at the gallops, and didn’t need to either because he was cleaning up just about every bird or bloke on the course that did.

But he did know the trots form. Knew it backward, forwards and sideways, and is probably the second most expert judge of the trots that I’ve ever met, behind only Keith Croft, the brother and benefactor of Kerry ‘Bippo’ Croft from Geebung, a nondescript ranga and gambling man who for many decades made a most handsome living as a pro punter on the trots, and probably still does if he’s still alive, kicking and compos mentis.

As good as Kerry was though, Jeroen’s only a half head behind him, which makes him about the best judge of harness racing that you will find on a trot track anywhere across the length and breadth of the Wide Brown Land.

That’s perhaps the longest-winded intro I’ve ever written to a story and I’ve probably bored you, so let’s cut straight to the guts.

Even Achilles had a vulnerable heel.

Jeroen’s is this horse whose name I can’t remember that he owned in partnership with his mates Paul and Brad Connelly that drove up the inside from three back the fence once night at Albion Park an won him (and me, and all our mates) an absolute fortune.

Ever since that night the Big Fella’s believed and propounded to the world that three back the fence at the trots is not at all a bad place to be, and that’s why he’s published the tweets you see at the top of this page.

Just like Achilles who failed to cover up the back of his foot, for once in his life Jeroen’s actually got it arse up, and after thirty something years of waiting to put one on him my time as finally come.

Grandma was right, good things do indeed come to those with patience to wait.

Tonight I laid down the challenge.

jeroen12.jpg

It’s a bold gamble I know, one man’s soul against another’s, and at the end of the race only one trot fan will be left standing.

Get your bets on now sportsfans and take any damn price the bookies will offer you about Archie Butterfly, no matter how short the odds, because I know without the slightest bit of equivocation that it’s going to be me.

As you all know I’ve got a pretty bad case of PTSD inspired ADHD, so about thirty seconds after I’d laid the challenge down to the trots guru – and notwithstanding the fact that I knew he’d be asleep – I started getting restless waiting for his reply, and so I could stop pacing around the house and avert the likelihood of falling over something in the dark and waking up the neighbors I decided to do a quick and highly unscientific exploratory validation of that which I knew to be true. That being that the 1-1 spot in a trot race is always a better finishing proposition that getting a soft suck in a pocket 3 back the fence.

I did the videos on a month of Tuesday arvo meetings at Albion Park – a total of 43 races – and compared the finishing positions of the 2 horses who for the larger part of the race were in the one out, one back trail and the position three back on the fence, or behind the horse who is behind the leader.

One of the races could not be included because there were only 2 starters (the 100 to 1 on shot got beaten), so were left with 42 races across programs of Tuesday afternoon pacing at the creek. The criteria was simply which horse finished in front of the other, the pacer that sat in the 1-1 or the one that sat three back the fence.

And the tally?

Drum roll please ……

26 to 16.

And the winner, and still undisputed champion of the harness racing world is…….

Aaaaarchie Butterfly!

 

 

 

 

 

Veni, Vidi, Whimpey – They Came, They Saw, They Blundered – What a Diffy a Dave Makes When You Work at the BRC

I am saddened to report that news out of the Beagles Nest at Eagle Farm is that the Darren ‘Difstick’ Diffey, the bloke recruited by his mate the Brisbane Racing Club CEO to make sure they couldn’t race at Eagle Farm – the racket from those bloody horses hooves disturbs Whimpey Dave when he’s meditating –  has gone the way of the dinosaur.

Now I’m buggered if I know why Whimpey D’s gone and sacked the Difstick, because he did a damn fine job as General Manager of Tracks and Facilities, and the blitzed his key Performance Target of disappearing the track.

difs12difs123

Then again I’m not quite sure why they appointed a bloke with a background in pubs and project management to take charge of a racetrack course proper, when the only experience he’d ever had with grass was watching Whimpey Dave and Slippery Sam suck bucket bongs over at Slippery’s at lunchtime on a Tuesday when the missus was out playing tennis and flogging Bet Fairy subscriptions.

At the time I rated the Difstick’s appointment as a bit odd I have to admit, because the global convention has always been that you employ a turf man to look after the stuff, someone like Kevin Mitchell at the Gabba or Nevesh Ramdhani at Randwick. You know,  blokes who are expert in the (non-hoochie) couchie trade.

But then I’m just a mere mortal, and Whimpey D’s the Black Caviar of CEO’s, and just like Nifty Nev sitting on the deck of the penthouse at Ascot Green Stage 1 he was chosen to fly, and when you’ve got fairy wings and you’re flying high you see things that ordinary blokes from the Bung always miss.

Things like the genius of the appointing of a bloke you know down the Goldie from the hotel trade who’s never had any experience with turf management to manage one of the three most important pieces of sporting turf in the state.

Who but a visionary like Whimpey D could come up with such an amazingly brilliant idea to make sure that the highly-casualised BRC hospitality crew could come in on a Saturday uninterrupted by stupid horses and set up show for Nifty’s 70th birthday party? They couldn’t have done that if there was a course proper now could they punters?

difs.jpg

So why the hell has the CEO given his old mate Difstick the flick? One minute he’s here  running around Beagle Farm calling himself the Boss of Building Services, the next minute he’s over at Doomben wearing a t-shirt saying General Manager Tracks and Facilities, and then just five minutes later the Bantam comes over the course PA and announces to no-one – just because he likes the sound of his own voice – that the Difstick has left the building, and now he’s bloody disappeared.

Oh what a difference a Dave makes when you work at the BRC.

Difstick and his amazing achievement of presiding over the shut down of metropolitan racing at Queensland’s most famous track will never be forgotten though, because I’ve gone down to the Hendra newsagent and bought a big post-it note and a texta, and I’ve written an epitaph to the Dif that I’m stick on the Buffering statue for the whole world to forever see, as long as they’ve got bionic vision or a pair of the Bantam’s spare binoculars.

It goes like this.

Veni, Vidi, Whimpey.

They came. They saw. They blundered.

Run Too Fast – Lie Too High – The One Nation Candidate Who Says He Won the Stawell Gift – But Didn’t – Meet Odd Rod

aora

arods.jpg

This is Rod Jones, the One Nation candidate for Caloundra in the upcoming Queensland State election.

Rod, who was born in the late 50’s, claims that he’s won the Stawell Gift.

He hasn’t.

Rod’s a liar.

Rod says that he married Janine in 2001.

He did.

Rod says that he has strong family values. morals and respect.

If that is true why does he exclude his first wife – the father of the 3 children he had at a young age – from his life story?

arodsy.jpg

Rod says that he began his journey into politics in the 2016 Local Government Elections.

He did.

Sort of.

Rod got 13% of the vote in his campaign to become the Councillor for Division 1 of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council. His vote improved to 22% after preferences were distributed, but unfortunately he wasn’t elected because his opponent scored the other 78% of the vote.

Rod says that you should vote for him because he was born in Tasmania, and supports the Brisbane Lions, and because he won the Stawell Gift, which he didn’t.

arodsyhh.jpg

I wouldn’t vote for Rod if you threatened to put a red hot poker up my posterior and twist it thrice.

He runs too fast and lies too high for my liking.

 

The Trotting Stewards Miss the Whole Damn Race-Rorting Thing – But Who the Hell Could Blame Them? – After All, You Can’t Put Fire Breaks In If All the Fireman Are Out All Day Dousing Flames

twainss.jpg

This is the steward’s report from the fixed race at Redcliffe.

There is not a mention about Pete McMullen’s strange driving tactics, or any comment or question about him curiously – and unduly – looking around left and right just after the start while restraining his drive, when he should in fact have been focusing all his attention on securing his horse a favorable forward position in the race.

There is no mention of him looking hard over his shoulder in the straight to make sure that Mark McNee’s horse doesn’t run a place either.

There was no chance of that.

Take another look at the replay.

It’s red hot.

McNee pulls his horse – the second favourite – out from the back seemingly far too late, but he has misjudged it from a race-fixing perspective because as he pulls the deafeners, and as the horse accelerates he suddenly realises that it is going so quickly that it is about to run straight past McMullen’s horse so what does he do?

Restrains his horse of course.

And then – when despite his attempts at restraing it his horse is still gobbling up ground at a rapid rate – instead of racing it around the outside McNee deliberately steers the horse back onto the rail and then up the arse of Whittaker’s grey horse in front of him, which is weird because the grey’s race is run and it’s going backwards.

What is even weirder though is that Whitaker has taken about half a dozen looks left and right in the 50m before this happens, and it is absolutely clear that he is looking for McNee.

But why?

McMullen’s horse clearly has Whitaker’s grey beaten into fourth place, and 5th to last pays the same $50 no matter what order you finish in.

So why is Whitaker looking around so hard to see where McNee is?

Because they’ve taken the First Four on the interstate TAB’s Banjo, and they’ve left the second favorite out.

What do you reckon the now disgraced harness racing identity Marshall Dobson, who was placing bets in accounts under false names, was betting on sportsfans?

Yep.

You got it.

Next thing McNee runs the horse almost up Whitaker’s rectum, hooks it around at the last second, momentarily checking its momentum and costing it valuable ground.

He couldn’t miss because Whitaker has started half-carting – basically driving on both sides of the middle white line on a two lane road and taking up both lanes – when he was still three lengths away, which is nonsensical because the grey was gone and there was no reason to try to block any opponent or beat it to a run, and even if there was Whitaker’s horse couldn’t have raised another sprint if it tried.

Funny thing is that as McNee checked and hooked around the fading grey, Whitaker turned and looked at him, and then started deliberately boring his drive out to check the fast closing second favorite’s momentum.

You’re not going to believe this, but at the same time McNee looks for all the world like he is intentionally tugging and reefing on the reins to make his horse hang or lug out, which means turn it’s head sharply to the right.

This of course slows a horse’s momentum appreciably. Remember how your athletics coach told you never to look around near the end of the race? Or how you got cut down a metre from the line by the winger coming in from the other side as you looked around to see how far back the halfback chasing you was? Same thing.

And guess who was looking back over their shoulder to see what was going on?

McMullen. Who else?

It’s just a sh*tty little Redcliffe meeting this one isn’t it? Why would professional drivers put their whole careers at risk by rigging races for such small returns?

Ever heard the old adage about books and covers?

The Albion Park dogs on a Thursday night are sh*tty little meetings too, and the prize money and wagering pools on them are no bigger than the Redcliffe trot meetings.

Know how much just a single one of the Asian betting exchanges held on a race at Albion Park last Thursday night?

$400 000.

No kidding.

Organised race fixing is a cancer that is going to kill harness racing stone dead if it’s not stopped soon. The ravenous disease should never have been allowed to progress as far as it has, but there are powerful people with strong interests in never finding a cure.

The stewards are in the main honest men and women working long hours police huge numbers of race meeting across the three codes that just keep rolling on day after day after day. They have no time to stop and look at the video of a race twenty times like I did last night, although they should have and must if we want to keep our sport clean and encourage people to bet.

Rugby League has the bunker to support the on-field refs, so does the AFL and Rugby Union and Soccer and Tennis and Cricket and Basketball and just about every professional sport. The officials in those sports are afforded time and the resources to go back over matches and look closely to make sure that their sports are being played honestly and true.

It’s well past time that we started doing the same.

abct.jpgabct1.jpgabct13.jpg

The excessively slow pace set by Mathew Neilson on the leader draws no attention from the race day stewards.

Darrel Graham’s obvious and observable lack of vigor over the final 300 metres or failure to drive his horse out to the finish doesn’t either, or does his abject failure to drive his horse on its merits.

Mark McNee’s failure to take all reasonable and permissible measures during the race to ensure that his horse was given the best opportunity to win or obtain the best possible placing in the race – to give it any chance at all really – attracts only the sounds of silence.

abct1345.jpg

 

History Doesn’t Repeat Itself, But it Often Rhymes – The Redcliffe Race-Fixing Rort Explained Step by Step – Harness Racing is a Circus Right Now – But Who’s the Crooked Clown That’s Calling the Tune?

reddie.jpg

A very good judge of harness racing has suggested to us that this may be the race that Matthew Neilson fixed at Redcliffe on 9 December 2016.

It is race 7, the Michael McInally Photography Pace for R0 and R1 horses, run over 2080 metres and carrying prizemoney of $2500. A non-descript race in a nothing meeting run at a track in Nowheresville and featuring horses going nowhere.

If this life long trot watcher is correct –  and I believe that they are – then it simply firms up the allegations I have made on this site about race-fixing in the events carrying the over-sized club-guaranteed pools at Albion Park, because the same names appear directly in the horse-hooking frame.

If this race is fixed – and it certainly appears to be – then Pete McMullen and Daryl Graham are in on the fix, because their drives make no sense to an experienced harness racing observer, especially in the context of how the race was run, which I will explain in a moment.

McMullen, Graham and a number of members of their respective extended family clans involved in the harness racing industry as drivers and trainers have featured prominently and repeatedly in the allegations of corruption in harness racing at Albion Park we have made on this site.

Now it appears almost certain that their nefarious and highly fraudulent activities extend to races run at the Redcliffe track as well, which is a massive issue because it suggests that at present the entire trot game is infected with wholesale corruption, cheating and highly criminal behavior that on the most charitable of assessments must at the very least be being condoned by those in charge of the sport.

I will leave you to draw your own conclusions as to what the least charitable view of what is going on in the sport may be, but let me assure you that it ain’t pretty and may just involve some of the biggest names in this code and others, and I’m not just talking trainers and drivers here.

Let’s have a look at the race in question and allow me take you through it and give you my considered opinion of what has gone on.

The main drivers and horses to watch are

  • Pete McMullen (Veejay’s Badboy) – Barrier 2
  • Mathew Neilson (Kylie Bromac) – Barrier 5
  • Darrel Graham (Mister Hart) – Barrier 10

The other drives in the race worth looking at are those of:

  • Gary Litzow (Calvert Hot Shot) – Barrier 1
  • Gary Whitaker (Blazing Tact) – Barrier 3
  • Mark McNee (Moonlight Butcher) – Barrier 4
  • Amy Rees (Bring Me Diamonds) – Barrier 7

There are 2 principal points in the race that are crucial to spotting the fix.

They are the start, and the last 600 metres.

The mobile barrier gets to the starting point and the runners are released, and immediately something super-strange occurs.

McMullen’s horse – the one in purple with white striped sleeves – begins fastest from the machine, but rather than go to what seems to be an easy lead he immediately restrains his horse, which seems crazy but it’s what happens next that is the give away and you can see it clearly on the still frame below.

McMullen turns his head and looks directly at driver Litzow on his inside, and although it is impossible to be certain gee it looks like he says something to the other driver.

Something like “I don’t want it, you take it”, referring to the lead spot.

 

ARACE1.jpg

Then – and it’s hard to spot due to the poor quality of my still frame, but if you stop and start the video a couple of times you will see it clearly – McMullen turns his head and looks to the right, and it’s London to a Brick he’s looking for Neilson and his horse Kylie Bromac.

ARACE123.jpg

Despite it being obvious that McMullen is easing back, Whitaker (in the yellow with black and white hoops Buzzy Bee colours driving the grey horse) makes no attempt to shoot around him to the lead but instead also eases sharply.

So does McNee who is on the 2nd favorite in the race (red and gold colours with grey cap)and although it may simply be an optical illusion, on the still frame it very much appears that he too is looking over at Litzow’s horse to see if it has booted up inside McMullen and gained the lead.

This is most peculiar because what he should be focusing 100% of his attention on at this exact point of the race is getting his horse into the running line one off the fence behind the Buzzy Bee, and there is plenty of room for him to do it if he is quick.

ARACE12345

But he doesn’t, and inexplicably keeps his horse three wide and allows others to kick up inside it – including letting the horse in the brown with the gold V and cap push up in the middle, rather than him shunting it back onto the fence – until eventually he has no options left but to:

  • Go forward three wide, which is the right option given the farcical early pace
  • Sit three-wide, which is not an option given the class of horse he is driving
  • Restrain to the rear, which is suicidal is a race being as slowly run as this and will almost certainly ruin his horses chances of winning

Mcnee restrains to the rear.

Amy Rees on the horse in the white colors behind the leader should kick her horse up and keep its back so she gets the prized run behind the pacesetter, but for reasons only she can explain Rees restrains and allows McMullen space to pop his horse onto the fence and take the run instead. It doesn’t make any sense, or at least it wouldn’t in a race that was being run straight.

ARACE123456.jpg

 

The runners reach the post for the first time with two laps to go and Neilson takes his horse to the lead.

Looking at the still frame you would swear that the front runners are going at a furious pace because the field are strung out like brown cows and there is about 20 lengths from first to last with a number of horses seemingly struggling to keep up.

But the front runners are not going fast at all; quite to the contrary they are travelling at a remarkably slow speed, and at 32.1 seconds the Lead Time for the race – the time the horses run in the distance from the start to the beginning of the last 1600 metres – is one of the slowest recorded in the entire year.

aaasq.jpg

Entering the back straight Graham on the favorite Mister Hart (in the yellow) pulls out around the field and seemingly zooms into the death seat spot outside the leader.

I say seemingly because Graham’s horse’s apparent speed is simply a trick of the eye. The field has actually run the first quarter (400m) of the last mile in just 32.4 seconds, far and away the slowest of the night, and the favorite has simply jogged around a field full of horses driven by reinspersons who seem to have no interest in showing any initiative that may help them to win the race and are content to sit back seemingly asleep.

You have to remember this is not a Gymkhana event; it is a professional sporting race carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of punters bets and the majority of the drivers are full-time professionals in the industry. They are not novices who don’t know what they are doing. These are the guns.

Once Graham gets to the death seat he puts his horse to sleep, and the leaders run the second quarter in a farcical and these days near unheard of 33.3 seconds.

At this juncture it’s worth having a look at a table I’ve constructed showing the times run in similar class races on the same program that day.

Broadly speaking, in gallops parlance at Redcliffe an R0 is a Maiden, an R1 is a Class 1 or BM 50, and an R0-R1 is a Maiden-Class 1 race.

ABACADs.jpg

The horses running that day have paced the first 3/5th’s of their races in the following aggregate times:

Race 5 – 92.6 seconds

Race 8 – 94.2 seconds

Race 6 – 94.1 seconds

Race 7 – 97.8 seconds

Numbers don’t lie.

The horses in the fixed race have run the first part of the race up to the 800 metre mark 3.5 seconds slower than the next slowest race of the same class, and 5.2 seconds slower than the fastest.

As a general rule in a race of this class a second equates to 13.5 metres, the distance a horse will pace in that time. This means that the horses in the rigged race have run the first part of the race about 50-90 metres slower than the horses competing in the same class races on the same day, and as there is no rain the track condition and speed is the same for each of the races.

These drivers, like jockeys, know all about speed and how to judge it. This skill is an essential element of their kit bag, and a pivotal part of their profession and craft. They know that if the pace is too slow in front they have no chance of winning, and that they have to improve their horse’s position to get themselves into the race.

ABACADsAA22.jpg

ABACADsAA.jpg

So why is that Mark McNee on the second favorite makes no attempt whatsoever to improve his horse’s position, despite the fact that from about the 700m mark the horse in front of him is clearly struggling?

It is only when that horse absolutely punctures and falls back in his lap at the 500m point that McNee hooks around it to make his run, by which time the leading horses are so far in front that he has absolutely no chance of catching them.

Something is seriously wrong here.

We know that already.

But it’s about to get worse.

Now it’s time to focus on Darrel Graham on the favorite in the yellow colors.

ABACADsAA2211

As they pass the 400 metre out from the winning post mark Graham’s favorite draws a neck in front of Neilson’s horse and seems certain to surge past it and on to an easy victory, but just as this happens Graham yanks the reins back a notch and eases the horse. You can see it clearly in the still shot above.

Why would such a vastly experienced reinsman do such a thing?

They’re in the money stretch of the race, it has been run at a farcical pace, the leader is having its first run for 5 months and its fitness must be suspect, his horse has had 3 runs coming into this race and is nearly rock hard.

What any other driver in the world would do is put their foot flat to the metal and try to smoke the leader, and thus leave the horse behind him stranded until the sprint lane by which time the favorite would have been off and gone.

But still Graham restrains.

I will leave it for you to be the judge, but what I see is that Graham keeps restraining his horse all the way to the line.

The vastly experienced former champion driver’s lack of vigor on the favorite down the straight is extraordinary. He never pulls the whip, he never urges his horse on, he just sits and sits and sits, and do you know what?

I reckon he’s driving it one rein – the left – to hold it back from winning. He’s making a bit of motion with his right hand but it’s only for show; all he actually does is pat his horse on the rump softly, which is a signal horseman use to tell their horse they are easing  down, not speeding up. Think about it, you’ve seen it in gallops racing a million times before, a jockey patting their horse down the rump as they pass the post.

Graham’s hooked the favorite, there’s not a doubt in my mind.

He’s the bloke in the circus that’s walking the high tightrope.

McNee’s the boy holding the rope.

Neilson’s the crying clown, who’s just pissed his stellar career down the drain.

McMullen’s the conductor of the band.

Harness racing under the current administration is a circus all right.

But who’s the ringmaster?

That’s the $64 000 guaranteed trifecta pool question, the one QRIC need to find the answer to if they are ever going to be a hope of cleaning harness harness racing up.

Who is it that’s running this whole crooked circus?

Here’s my tip sportsfans, and the well known race-lover and writer Mark Twain’s too.

Read the form guide.

Just read the bloody form.

twain.jpg